Aurora Veterans Salute Will Honor All Vietnam Era Veterans

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May 07, 2016

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Aurora Veterans Salute Will Honor All Vietnam Era Veterans
The Vietnam War (1954-1975) was a long conflict in which the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) attempted to reunite the country by overthrowing the government of the non-communist Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The United States involvement was based on the Cold War policy (the Truman Doctrine) which declared that the United States must help any nation threatened by Communism. Three presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, based their involvement in Vietnam on this policy. United States military advisors, present in small numbers during the 1950s, were introduced on a large scale beginning in 1961, and active combat troops were sent in 1965. By 1969 more than 500,000 U.S. military personnel were stationed in Vietnam. During the course of the war, over 3.4 million would served in the Southeast Asian theater. The Soviet Union and China provided weapons, supplies and advisors to North Vietnam. Eventually, the cost and casualties of the war proved too much for the United States and U.S. combat troops were withdrawn in 1973. On April 30, 1975, South Vietnam felled to a full scale invasion by the North.

The human costs of the war was harsh. Over 58,000 American military personnel died and over 2,500 are listed as POW/MIA (prisoner of war/missing in action) or killed in action/body not recovered. Nearly 300,000 were wounded. The U.S. military estimates that 200,000 to 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war and over 1 million were wounded. In 1995, Vietnam released its official estimate of war dead: 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters and as many as 2 million civilians on both sides died as a result of the war.

The war cost the U.S. nearly $200 billion and was the first foreign war in which U.S. combat forces failed to achieve their goals. Many Vietnam veterans were shunned and criticized for their role and support of the war. Some leaders opposed expanding benefits to Vietnam veterans to match those given to veterans of earlier wars which shocked the Vietnam veterans. Many Vietnam veterans felt the nation failed to recognize or appreciated their sacrifices.

The Aurora Veterans Salute will honor all Vietnam era veterans on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. We want to thank the men and women who sacrificed their lives as well as all who served during the Vietnam War and give them a heartfelt Welcome Home.

Editors note: The 22nd annual Aurora Veterans Salute is proudly presented by the Aurora Center for Active Adults. Registration for the Salute luncheon begins August 8th. For more information visit www.Auroragov.org/salute.







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